Despite all the technological advances in the automotive industry, antique wheel theft remains a problem throughout the country. According to one estimate, the value of stolen tires is at least $ 1 million a year.

There are several reasons why this type of theft is so common, says Richard Reina, CARiD Training Director. Fortunately, there are some anti-theft precautions you can take to protect your trip.

Why does car wheel theft occur?

Easy to steal

Determined thieves with a jack և battery-operated tool with a high-torque wrench can remove a number of wheels in 10 minutes.

It is not back

The wheels do not have serial numbers, no one is going to ask for proof of ownership.

Easy to sell

Thieves can sell stolen wheels online, in car body shops, or even in their backyard.

Money is good

Post-market tires are one of the most popular car accessories; the more expensive the car, the more expensive the wheels. Depending on the model, a set of stolen wheels can cost $ 1,000- $ 5,000 or more, about half the retail price.

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How to help prevent car wheel theft

Near a car parked on the road

Buy nail locks

This solution involves replacing one of the lock nuts on each wheel with a lock that requires a special tool to remove. Often a dealer supplement when you buy your car costs about $ 100 for four (one for each wheel). They are also available in car shops or online at a slightly lower price. you can put them on yourself or bring them to a mechanic to install them for you. For added protection, you can purchase lock sets for all the nuts on your wheels. Just do not lose the key that you need to remove the wheel if you have to change the tire.

Install an alarm with a sensor

Unlike standard car alarms, which warn you when your car has been broken into, alarms with sensors can detect a change in inclination or angle if thieves try to lift your car. Some upgraded, newer cars offer this type of alarm, or you can buy it as an additional market supplement for $ 250-500. A few warnings about the post-market version. The sensors may not sync with your car’s existing alarm, you will need to install them at a repair shop, which costs an average of an additional $ 225. In total, you can see more than $ 700 – a lot of money, but less than what you would spend on a new set of wheels.

Park in safe, well-lit areas

Thieves almost always strike at night, scouring areas where they are unlikely to be detected, such as a dark street without light. If possible, stay in areas where there is more traffic, both for cars and pedestrians, and where there are security cameras. If you park somewhere overnight, make sure your car is visible.

Turn your wheels

When parking, turn the wheels at a 45-degree angle. This will make it harder for the thief to remove the nuts, as it is likely to interfere with the internal protector.

Near the park

When parking parallel on the street, get as close to the curb as possible. The closer your car is, the harder it will be for a thief to put a jack under your car. While the street side of your car is still open, at least the rear tires of your car will be better protected.

Buy a set of shoes

Car wheel locked due to wheel lock due to illegal parking violation

Closing all your wheels with metal shoes that cover the side nuts like a headset can sound a little extreme. After all, it takes 5 to 20 minutes for each to attach, and special tools may be required. But if you need to leave the car outside during a long absence, shoes will certainly be a deterrent. They cost about $ 70 per pair (you will need two pairs), և they can be found online ներում in car shops.

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Read more: 5 ways to prevent car theft

By Elise Pierce